Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An evening with RaNae Merrill

Ever since my quilting friends, Laura and Anne, invited me to teach a Free-Motion Quilting workshop for the Smoky Mt. Quilters last year, we touch base periodically. Recently, they told me that RaNae Merrill was going to speak and teach for their guild. Sheesh… how could I not take advantage of this opportunity??? Gee whiz, I sell this woman's fabric designs!!!
Radiant by RaNae Merrill for Blank Quilting.
Seven colorways.
Her fabrics are really cool! [See her Radiant collection for Blank Quilting.] You might remember my Radiant Triangles quilt post... Yes. This is her. So, I go.

Her presentation for the guild chronicled her journey into the quilting industry. How doodling spirals got her thinking about quilt possibilities… how photography and travel lead to designing fabrics… and how her first meeting with the design department at Blank Quilting lead to the purchase of the designs that became the Radiant collection. Everything wasn't easy—there were a few rejections with her first book proposal—but she kept at it and now has two published books, Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts and Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts, and teaches around the country.
The underlying theme of her presentation, however, was that of encouragement to anyone who has ever considered or dreamt about doing something. If a possibility presents itself… take that chance. If a door opens a crack... push it open and see where it leads.

Guild members were treated to a wonderful Show and Tell of the many spiral and mandala quilts from RaNae's collection. She also instructed us on how to draw a basic spiral—a preliminary exercise for on of the workshops she taught that week. If you like paper piecing, the spiral quilts and RaNae's books are for you!
Learning to draw a spiral.
I was able to attend one of her workshops—on a new technique she is developing. I'll give you a peak of this project in a bit. For now, I'm going to watch some spirals being done on the ice by the Olympic ice dancers...
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